Re: Reiser4 Inclusion
From: Grzegorz Kulewski
Date: Mon Jul 17 2006 - 07:47:09 EST
On Mon, 17 Jul 2006, Arjan van de Ven wrote:
On Sun, 2006-07-16 at 20:02 -0700, Caleb Gray wrote:
Dear Linux Kernel Developers,
I would like to express my experiences with the reiser4 filesystem and
my reasons for its readiness to be officially included in the Linux kernel.
may I ask why you are sending this? Have you done code audits to the
code? Have you done anything that was on the "these need fixing before
it can go in" list?
Well, as I understand he is end user (an advanced one). He does his job as
a end user: he does testing and reports back the results. This is not that
common, as many users do not report problems / requests they have.
He even did more: he tested (very hard and extensively) experimental, not
even in the tree part of the kernel. And he reported problems / ideas he
found in a very kind and gentle way. This is not so common and makes him a
valuable person in the users comunity in my opinion.
As I understand you, as a developer, should say "thank you" to him and
make everything you can to solve the problems he has and help implement
the parts of the software he needs. No?
That way you build comunity of users that not only are using the software
but also are giving back in form of bug reports, feature requests,
continuous testing on variety of setups (that no developer ever can have
all), reviews, ideas, telling others about what a great software with
friendly comunity they found and so on.
For me (I am active end user of most open source projects and developer
on others) the comunity and good contacs between developers and end users
is the most important part of the software. It gives me security. Even if
the software is not yet stable it can be fixed by cooperation between
users and developers. While people are really way harder to fix than
And he as a end user does not have to (and probably does not even have
enough knowledge about the kernel internals) make code audits and
review of new filesystem. So why are you demanding that he does one?
If not, aren't you just doing campaigning on
non-technical grounds? And isn't that a bad idea?
Well, his kind message was not very technical. But wasn't completly non
technical or flamewar either. He tested software, compared and reported
what he saw. He also expressed wish (that many users have) that Reiser4,
as a usefull and even useable in some production evironments, should be
integrated into the kernel. Because there are users for it.
Arjan van de Ven -- who is starting to smell a directed PR campaign
leading to allergic reactions
Come on. Another conspiracy theory? Why some people just can't understand
that Reiser4 is not that bad (from end user's point of view)? Some people
tested it and found it good and want to have it integrated ASAP. Some even
can't live without it after they used it for a while and saw how good it
is in something...
I can assure you that it really is not some directed centrally controlled
campaign. This is just what many users want.
I too tested Reiser4 some time ago. It didn't have any big problems for
me. But I am not using (or testing) it now. Why? Mainly because of
security: if Reiser4 is not merged (even as a experminental, subject to
change, unstable, whatever) it will work with new kernels as long as
Namesys will release patches. And if something happens to Namesys I will
have to port it to new kernels (and that is usually trivial for kernel
developers introducing incompatible internal kernel API changes but not
for me) myself or will have to use old kernels. And _that_ is a problem
(Not to mention that I am regulary applying 4-7 patches, some big ones,
for every kernel I am building and resolving merge problems in not your
code is not easy thing to do and takes time. While I can live without
staircase scheduler or vesafb-tng if my manual merge attempt fails I can
not do so without my main filesystem. And -mm is a little too unstable for
It is unfortunate that Hans Reiser pushed Reiser4 the way he did and that
he got the reaction from some kernel developers he did got. But he and his
developers did (and are still doing) very hard job to fix problems and
make Reiser4 better and more suitable into the kernel. And having Reiser4
out of the kernel is hurting mainly end users. Really.
Arjan, is this really technically impossible to have Reiser4 merged into
the kernel after fixing some worst problems that touch mm and VFS (in say
2 months), flagged unofficial-try-merge-for-testing, super-experimental
and subject-to-change? I would make live of many end users easier and does
not sound that bad for me especially in the 2.6 forever era...
If someone thinks that Reiser4 is too unstable or evil he can set it to N
and be happy. And if Reiser4 will be abandoned by Namesys and not fixed
further it could be maintained by kernel developers at a minimal level
(porting to new kernel internal APIs as they change) for say 6-12 months
while flagged for removal and then removed because of
unofficial-try-merge-for-testing flag. This at least does give some time
to migrate from it for end users (and maybe even time to fix it for some
Thanks and sorry for such long post,
wrong as usual,
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